Robots may replace 1 in 5 jobs in 5 years, survey says

by BERNAMA/ pic by TMR File

ONE of five jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation within five years as organisations worldwide focus on utilising these technologies to improve efficiencies in their businesses, according to a survey.

The new jobs will appear to compensate and enable employees to perform higher-level roles, leading to a significant reorganisation of roles across the business, said the CIO Survey 2019 published jointly by KPMG International and Harvey Nash.

KPMG Malaysia managing partner Datuk Johan Idris said over the past year, organisations have seen an increase in technological investment worldwide and it is only a matter of time until robots and other cognitive technologies become a staple in the workplace.

“To realise the full potential of these technologies, organisations must think beyond technological investments and instead focus on broad-ranging transformation strategies.

“It is more critical than ever for business leaders to take the initiative to upskill their workforce while also

focusing on attracting and retaining new talents, thus ensuring they are future-ready,” he said.

However, due to the increased focus on technology investments, the report said, technology leaders are struggling to find the right talent, with skills shortages being at their highest since 2008.

The survey identified big data/analytics (44%), cyber security (39%) and AI (39%) as the three scarcest skill areas, which could act as a bottleneck to growth for organisations seeking to transform their businesses.

As of 2019, only 16% of organisations have implemented AI in the automation of some of their processes, but the number is rising as these technologies become more accessible.

KPMG’s head of IT-enabled transformation in Malaysia, Alvin Gan, said business leaders must learn to make the most of both kinds of labour as they anticipate a future of collaborations between humans and AI/automation.

“This emphasises the need for business leaders to ensure that their workforce maintains a relevant skill set,” he added.